I would like to thank Tewfic el-Sawy for the post regarding me on "The Travel Photographer" blog.
It's easy to agree on most of our common problems, especially if we face them daily.
But we need to resist, reinvent, go ahead.. And we'll certainly do it!
Jul 14, 2010
French are good at lighting monuments and streets, designing wine labels, creating myths. So is not surprising that the "Rencontres d'Arles" dedicated to Art photography are a perfect window for our small world of creativity. They make a show (that succeed in create discussions - wow!) at every night projection in the Roman theater (great setting), and the night-long spread of projection screens throughout the city is a real happening, a must-be-there occasion in the year. Well done, my American friends will say!
Let's give a look at the substance of it, just to stay on the real side of the profession. There were ideas and some good pictures, although I found more inspiring for pure photography the shows of Giacomelli and Haas (from the 50ies!). But, as a whole, there is a clear sign of a new direction in which different forms of art and communication will merge. The concept of single prints is opening up to a more complex combination of messages, contents, interactions. Maybe the goal is not clear yet, but I think this evolution is needed and positive. I have seen some young photographer's work that is meaningful and strong: let's just hope they'll find the way to have their ideas supported and developed. There were also areas full of emptiness, but this part of the game, of course.
The better part is the sensation of easiness and pleasure that visitors and professionals created there. So different from the tense desperation of Perpignan, the tragic "end of photojournalism!". I think this positiveness is a good starting point for photographers: take it easy, we are still producing art! And, as Franco Fontana once said in a interview "Our is not hard work! Hard work is in the mines!"
at 6:36 PM
Jul 7, 2010
When I talk of Travel Photography I refer only to the professional work normally published on travel magazines or books, certainly not to the documentary or reportage work that, obviously, requires traveling (otherwise any picture shoot more the 1 km from home would be travel).
I think is better to face a crisis before is definitive, so we can search solutions, new expression, new media without a sense of vacuum under our feet. See the Einstein citation in the right column of this blog: that is exactly how I see it!
This is the time to start the Re-Evolution of this profession. This is the time for ideas and creativity, but also the time to explore the development of media where the artist can have more control. Because we know that many of the problems for our profession are due to the disappearance or real publishers..
So, keep smiling, and above all, keep thinking, shooting, creating....
at 2:23 PM
Jul 6, 2010
Professional Travel Photography is gone for good. Or better, the Travel Publications are gone, with a few exceptions. The big international magazines are still there, but with badly reduced number of pages, of readers, of stories. And, what's worst, with confused identities and scopes. Even generic magazines have renounced their travel section after they had produced, or just worsened, the specialized one's crisis.
The reasons are obvious: what is the sense of describing places and destinations in this globalized world? Or even giving practical suggestions when the web is providing very efficient real-time informations?
For photographers like myself, deeply rooted in a geographical culture and background, the problem has two interconnected sides: the artistic and the professional. What to photograph is as important as How to do it. As I repeated several times, identifying interesting stories and giving a personal interpretation is a must. But then comes the Why (which is the same as the professional problem): what are the media that will publish (distribute, show, expose) these works? The photographer has no control of this essential part of the process. I keep seeing many colleagues that join forces in creating new agencies to face the sales vacuum. But it seems obvious to me that the real problem is the absence of the media market to sell to, not the way we try to sell! Maybe we should group to create sensible media, unless we look for selling brand instead of photos.
I keep thinking that the world has a lot of stories worth to be covered photographically. The real task is to modernize our scope, create new ways of distribution (using the new technologies, think of the iPad per example), reach the young reader.
For the Travel Photographer the time has come to drop the "Travel" label. Everybody has a camera in his pocket today. The photographer is somebody able to see in a personal, strong way, and pass the message on..
I SUGGEST YOU READ ALSO THE MORE RECENT POSTS ON THIS SUBJECT..
at 4:24 PM